In this Issue:

A Letter to our HPwES Stakeholders

Dear Home Performance Community,

Since the 2013 ACI National Home Performance conference last month in Denver, Colo., my team and I have reflected on our discussions with existing Sponsors, as well as potential new Sponsor organizations: manufacturers, distributors, weatherization agencies, nonprofits, and financial institutions. Our discussions further my belief that Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) plays an important role in supporting the growth and expansion of the home performance (HP) industry. It is incredibly exciting that more and more types of organizations see HP as a logical step in their business development because we share similar visions: HP is home improvement done right. We look forward to continuing our conversations and increasing participation in the national Program.

Each year as the home performance industry gathers at ACI, we have the opportunity to celebrate our leaders during the opening plenary and awards ceremony, reconnect with colleagues, and welcome new participants to our vibrant and growing network of organizations dedicated to improving the efficiency, comfort and durability of America’s homes. The annual conference allows our Program to present updates on programmatic topics such as our evolution, quality assurance, and sponsorship criteria, as well as engage with key industry players that have vital roles in our industry to find ways to make HPwES a value-add to their businesses. Hearing the various unique voices of our industry in this forum helps shape the work our Team does every day to administer the national Program.

I am proud that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and HPwES were represented by this year’s award winners because I believe it is a true testament to the impact of the work we do every day promoting and supporting the home performance industry. I personally want to congratulate several of this year’s award winners and nominees. Courtney Moriarta, technical team lead for the HPwES Program, received the ACI Leadership Award for her extraordinary and visionary efforts to strengthen the home performance industry, as well as was nominated for the ACI Woman of the Year Award. Karen Hamilton, Director of Residential Programs at NYSERDA, was also nominated for ACI's Woman of the Year Award for her role in making NYSERDA's Residential Energy Affordability Programs and NY’s HPwES program in particular, one of the strongest in the country. The inaugural Woman of the Year Award was presented to Ann Edminster, founder and principal of Design AVEnues, LLC, for her impact and leadership in the home performance and sustainable buildings industries. The Building Performance Institute awarded The Tony Woods Award to John Tooley of Advanced Energy. His vision and contributions to the development of DOE's Standard Work Specifications within the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals were unmatched. I am look forward to seeing how all of their efforts continue to move our industry forward.

Finally, I want to recognize and thank ACI’s team, led by CEO Amy Fazio, who dedicated an immense amount of effort to plan and orchestrate the successful conference. Her team is instrumental in expanding the breadth of ACI and attracting many businesses to support home performance that may not have considered it otherwise.

Thank you to all of you who lead home performance into the future. It is only through our diverse market and your efforts to expand the industry that we can drive home performance to become the business-as-usual approach to home improvement.

Ely Jacobsohn
U.S. Department of Energy
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program Manager

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Revised draft Sponsor Guide released for public comments

Save the date!
HPwES will host a webinar on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 to review and answer clarifying questions about the draft Sponsor Guide. Register for the webinar here.
On Monday, June 3, 2013, the draft Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Sponsor Guide and Reference Manual v1.5 (Sponsor Guide) was released for public comment. The Sponsor Guide is a technical document that outlines the requirements for Sponsors' participation in the national Program, as well as provides resources for program implementation and best practices. In response to the need for greater clarity of HPwES Program requirements, DOE updated and restructured the Sponsor Guide.

DOE requests Sponsors and stakeholders review the draft Sponsor Guide and provide comments by Thursday, July 18, 2013. DOE is interested in hearing comments on all aspects of the Sponsor Guide including: format, usability, readability, content, and whether it provides a clear, meaningful definition of HPwES.

The Sponsor Guide can be found on the HPwES News and Events webpage. Submit comments and questions to by Thursday, July 18, 2013. Comments can be sent in a variety of formats: emails, attached Word documents, PDFs, or discussions over the phone.

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HPwES Research Pilot Update: Spotlight on Recognition and Labeling

DOE wants to collaborate with Sponsors and stakeholders on a series of pilot initiatives to test the effectiveness and value of enhancements to the HPwES Program. One of these initiatives is an effort to better understand how recognition can be used to motivate homeowners and improve sales of HP services. DOE proposes to kick off this pilot in summer 2013 for a year-long research effort to:

  • Identify recognition methods with the greatest potential to support scalability and increase program impact
  • Understand potential future benefits (e.g., energy, financial, other) of recognition methods
  • Gain knowledge on technical requirements, market opportunities and impediments, and deployment paths
The HPwES recognition and labeling pilots will collect information to characterize the value of offering recognition to HPwES customers. Some possible questions that could be addressed include:

  • Do customers recognize a certificate of completion as a mark of distinction?
  • Do customers value a certificate enough to influence their choice to participate in HPwES?
  • Can HPwES recognition be an influential sales tool resulting in more projects and deeper energy savings?
  • What means of recognition delivery are most effective and impactful?
  • Do customers perceive a future value to having a certificate for their home?
  • What means of communicating the energy savings or other benefits of HPwES is most effective (i.e. percent energy saved, Home Energy Score, improved Energy Score, etc.)
HPwES will be releasing more information on pilot participation in July. Interested Stakeholders should email us at if they would like to receive information about pilot opportunities including topics on systems paths, alternative program delivery models, enhanced data capture and performance metrics, quality assurance systems, and other potential program enhancements. If you have ideas or plans for pilots that you would like us to be aware of, please let us know in your email.

For more information, please contact your Account Manager.

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HPwES' ACI Presentations posted online

The HPwES Team presented at the 2013 ACI National Home Performance Conference held in Denver, Colo., April 29-May 3, 2013. Check out our presentations below and send your feedback to

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Better Buildings Residential Network Launched

The Better Buildings Residential Network was launched at the ACI National Home Performance conference and HPwES Sponsors are encouraged to join. The Better Buildings Residential Network will provide a platform for energy efficiency programs and partners to share best practices and learn from one another to dramatically increase the number of American homes that are energy efficient.

By joining the Residential Network, Sponsors will be invited to monthly calls to discuss topics such as driving demand, developing workforces, data collection and evaluation, financing, reaching moderate and low-income markets, and program sustainability. Members will also have access to tools, templates and proven solutions; receive membership newsletters, optional program benchmarking and the soon-to-be launched Better Buildings Residential Solution Center.

To join the Residential Network, email for a membership form.

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America's Home Energy Education Challenge takes energy efficiency to classrooms nationwide

Promote home energy education in your communities! DOE and the National Science Teachers Association are sponsoring America's Home Energy Education Challenge.The challenge promotes classroom curriculum on energy efficiency and encourages students to find innovative ways to reduce energy consumption at home. Participants will be required to collect energy data, create energy savings plans, and track the impact of their plan on energy use. Students in grades 3-8 can compete with the guidance of a teacher advisor.

HPwES Sponsors are encouraged to promote America's Home Energy Education Challenge in their local communities. Participation is simple. Teacher advisors will be provided with a science-based energy curriculum and materials, and students submit projects based on their ideas to reduce energy consumption. Winners will receive prizes for their schools, organizations or homeschools.

Registration is now open. The challenge will begin on Sept. 1, 2013 and end March 31, 2014. For more information, visit the competition website.

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Guest Author Feature: The Home Performance Guild of Oregon

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As part of a guest author feature for the HPwES e-newsletter, Don MacOdrum, executive director of the Home Performance Guild of Oregon, is contributing a series of articles spotlighting the Guild—its founding, model, mission and plans to transform the local home performance industry. The Guild is a network of participating contractors that works with local Sponsors to offer services to homeowners, build relationships with a variety of industry participants, and are uniquely positioned to support their local Sponsors' goals to advance HPwES. For more information, please contact Don.

Introducing the Guild – Part One

Hello Home Performance with ENERGY STAR community. My name is Don MacOdrum and I am the executive director of the Home Performance Guild of Oregon (the Guild). Having recently returned from the ACI National Home Performance Conference in Denver (great work Denver & ACI!), I am still basking in a glow of abiding thanks and appreciation for the Home Performance (HP) industry environment that we have in Oregon. While there are many states that enjoy strong or strengthening relationships between contractors, industry stakeholders and programs—happily I learn of more all the time—few to none have it as good as us. To my mind that realization and acknowledgement comes with responsibility and obligation. So, here and in the next issue of DOE's HPwES e-newsletter, I will introduce you to our organization, state and stakeholders, with the objective of sharing a path to a productive industry and program partnership with some ideas for further enhancements thrown in for good measure.

The Guild is both our state HP trade association and the Oregon Chapter of Efficiency First. We are a merry band of industry actors who, through a cohesive trade association, can be leveraged by local programs to create lasting value for homeowners, ratepayers, utilities and state leaders. Back in 2009, Ryan Clemmer, a local HP contractor, first assembled the Guild's founding members to address concerns about the way energy modeling usage was evolving in the local program. Program changes in the absence of industry feedback is what ultimately drove contractors to the realization that they needed to join forces to advocate for the quality work they were doing based on BPI Standards and the program's established guidelines. Their voices were ultimately heard and respected, not just because they were vocal and engaged, but largely because they were cohesive and organized.

The fledgling Guild found a new call to action in House Bill 2626, known as the EEAST legislation, which had the potential to leverage HP as the basis for new statewide weatherization legislation. Guild members testified in front of legislators and worked with lawmakers to help guide the policies. Eventually, their work on EEAST was largely incorporated into the pilot project, Clean Energy Works Portland (CEWP). CEWP's success continued with a Federal block grant funded by ARRA dollars, which allowed the program to expand and become Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO), a statewide effort to develop the market for HP improvements.

In 2011, the Guild's leadership and members pursued partnerships with the City of Portland, administers of CEWP; Enterprise Cascadia, CEWO, and the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO). With co-funding from these partners, the Guild hired a part-time executive director and I was tasked with, amongst other things, organizing monthly board and member meetings, acting as liaison to the programs on behalf of HP contractors, and raising funds to support the organizations' advocacy, operations and growth to justify a full-time executive director.

Two years later, the Guild has grown to two paid staff members—myself and Ginger Roberts, our invaluable membership coordinator—along with a part-time local lobbyist. At the heart of our organization's membership are 40 HP contractors and committed leadership of 10 board members. All are competitors and collaborators, working alongside one another to grow and strengthen the HP model in Oregon. Our membership is further strengthened by a comprehensive cross-section of our sector's stakeholders that keep us engaged with industry developments, emerging trends and opportunities to innovate. The group includes trade contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, training institutions, lenders, software providers, and insurance brokers, as well as program managers, implementers and evaluators. Our consortium is rounded out through strategic partnerships with advocacy organizations and complementary trade associations.

In my next article for the HPwES e-newsletter, I'll pull back the curtain on how the Guild uses its trade association status to partner with manufacturers, banks, insurance providers and other industry stakeholders for the benefit of its members and partners. I'll also highlight Guild efforts to establish a public facing brand for HPwES to ultimately generate leads for our HP contractor members. So, stay- tuned and please visit our website for more information:

If you work in the home performance community and are interested in participating as a guest author, please contact

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Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance lends more than $1 million to homeowners for HPwES improvements

Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance logoIn early May, the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (Energy Alliance) surpassed a major lending milestone—more than $1 million has been lent to homeowners in Ohio and Kentucky through its Greater Cincinnati Home Energy Loan Program (GC-HELP). GC-HELP finances whole-home energy efficiency upgrades for homeowners who participate in the Energy Alliance's HPwES program, which was developed in 2011 through the organization's participation in DOE's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program. To date, the Energy Alliance has completed 827 HPwES projects.

GC-HELP was created in 2011 with support from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and in partnership with AFC First Financial Corporation. By removing the barrier to investment in energy efficiency with a low-interest loan and a quick and painless application process for homeowners, GC-HELP makes energy efficiency projects more manageable and encourages deeper home energy improvements.

Go online for more information.

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AFC First Financial recognized by the Alliance to Save Energy for Loan Program

AFC logoThe Alliance to Save Energy awarded the Andromeda Star Award to the Keystone Home Energy Loan Program (Keystone HELP®), administered by HPwES Sponsor AFC First Financial and several other state agencies. Keystone HELP is Pennsylvania's innovative public/private partnership, which provides lower cost financing to homeowners for ENERGY STAR single measure improvements such as heating, cooling, insulation, geothermal and whole house energy improvements under HPwES guidelines. Supported exclusively by lending capital from the Pennsylvania Treasury Department and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency; with program design, interest rate and credit support from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; and administered by AFC First Financial Corporation, Keystone HELP has made almost 11,000 unsecured loans totaling more than $75 million and over 1,000 secured loans totaling $25 million as of December 2012. Pennsylvania Treasury estimates the completed home improvement projects are saving consumers $2.5 million a year on energy bills. AFC First Financial joined HPwES in 2011 and has completed 321 HPwES projects.

Go online for more information.

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HPwES Tips for Contractor Success

An important piece of any successful home performance contractor's business is their marketing plan, yet too often the marketing plan is not complete, out of date, or worse—nonexistent. Developing a marketing plan will help contractors identify how to reach customers, budget, and track the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

In a series of seven blog posts, Mike Rogers, President of OmStout Consulting, explains why marketing plans matter. Find his blog here.

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Quarterly Reports Due

Sponsors, don't forget that 2013 Quarter 2 reports are due by Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Please remember to report your quarterly project numbers in the updated Quarterly Report Template.

View the updated project dashboards online, which now include project data through Q1 2013.

If you have questions, please contact your Account Manager.

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The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Team
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